The MA Committee

The MA Committee supervises the MA thesis work, and must approve the thesis before the MA degree is granted.  The MA Committee consists of at least two faculty members, a Chair and a Reader, both of whom must be members of the Graduate Faculty.  The Chair must hold an appointment in Sociology; the second member may be an adjunct member of the faculty.  If a student wishes to appoint a faculty member with no appointment in Sociology to the MA Committee, s/he may be added as a third member of the committee (see details below).

The MA Committee Chair

The MA Chair serves as student's primary academic advisor from date of appointment to completion of MA.  The MA Chair should hold a regular appointment in the Department of Sociology, and must be a member of the Graduate Faculty.  Ideally the MA chair should be appointed bythe end of Spring Quarter in a student's first year in the program.

Procedures for Appointing the MA Chair:

The MA Committee

By agreeing to serve on the MA committee, faculty members agree to work with the student on the MA thesis, including, but not limited to, discussing research topic and design, assisting with analyses, and reading and providing feedback on drafts. 

Procedures for Establishing the MA Committee:

  • The student and faculty members complete the Petition to Appoint the MA Committee form.
  • Submit to the Graduate Program Advisor. 
  • If utilizing committee members who are from outside the Department of Sociology, be sure to read the following guidelines below, provide the additional information required on the form, and have your Chair's approval and signature indicating approval.

Changing the MA Committee

If a change in the composition of the MA Committee membership is needed (including adding an additional Reader), the student should:

  • Confer with the MA Committee Chair and any committee member(s) they propose to add or remove
  • Complete a Petition to Change the MA Committee form
  • Submit the signed petition to the Graduate Program Advisor

Appointment of Non-UW Sociology Faculty Members to an MA Committee

  • In general, MA supervisory committees should be composed of members of the UW Sociology graduate faculty whenever possible.  In some cases, it may be appropriate to include a non-UW faculty member, or a UW faculty member from another department, on a supervisory committee.  Such appointments will routinely be approved as long as:
    1. The non-UW faculty member or non-Sociology UW faculty member will bring something unique to the committee.
    2. The Chair of your committee endorses including the additional non-UW Sociology committee member.
    3. The non-UW Sociology member is in addition to, rather than in place of, a UW Sociology faculty member.  For MA committees, this means that the committee will have at least three members (Chair from Sociology, Reader from Sociology, and the additional Member(s) / Reader(s)).
    4. To appoint the additional committee member, there are spaces provided on the Petition to Appoint the MA Committee form.  Be sure to provide the additional information required for these additional members, and to get your Chair's approval.  Obtain faculty signature(s).  Submit to the Graduate Program Advisor.
    5. Please Note:
      • Affiliate faculty are considered UW faculty for the purposes of graduate committees, though they do not normally have Graduate Faculty standing.
      • The student must provide the Graduate Program Advisor he necessary information for the additional non-Sociology member(s) of the committee:  full name, email address, organization they are employed by, address of organization.  There is a space for this on the Petition to Appoint the MA Committee form.
      • It is the student's responsibility to ensure that the composition of the committee conforms to the Graduate School's guidelines for the defense, the Graduate School Memo 13: Supervisory Committees, and to the Department of Sociology guidelines above.